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Veterinary trust breaks £2 million barrier

THE UNIVERSITY of Cambridge Veterinary School could not continue to compete at the forefront of veterinary care without the £4m fundraising campaign launched in 2000.

Chairman of the University of Cambridge Veterinary School Trust, David Harris, announces that over £2m in cash and pledges has been raised under the banner of the Shareourcare campaign.

Corporate and private donations were sought to fund a new small animal surgical suite, a new farm animal medicine centre and a new equine diagnostic and rehabilitation centre.

The small animal surgical site requires £1m and will assist in the treatment of over 3,000 new referrals each year. State-of-the-art facilities are vital for the expanding patient fraternity and to give future generations of veterinary students an excellent learning environment for ‘leading edge’ surgery.

The new suite has four yet-to-be-equipped specialist operating theatres: orthopædics, ophthalmology, cancer therapy and soft tissue and general surgery. An anæsthetic induction area and a diagnostic imaging centre, including intra-operative x-ray, will service all four theatres.

Dean of the University of Cambridge Veterinary School, Mike Herrtage, says: ‘This new facility will enable the Veterinary School to continue to provide and develop new and innovative surgical procedures to treat our patients.

Specialist procedures such as hip replacements, complex spinal and brain surgery and intricate cardiac surgery, are already being carried out on a regular basis. The new enlarged facilities will enable us to carry out more of these procedures and this will have a positive effect on the health and welfare of our patients’.

In addition to the £2.5m needed for this and other three capital projects, a further £1.5m was to be raised through planned gifts made through declared legacies designated for the endowment of the work of the school. Already, almost £5m in bequests has been secured.

The Endowment Fund is essential as government funding for veterinary science falls far short of what is required for one of the most expensive courses a university can run. The Veterinary School cannot rely on the University of Cambridge for its income because of the continued cuts to higher education funding and a scarcity of resource.

The endowment fund will be invested in perpetuity and its earnings used to support academic posts, both for clinical teaching in the Queen’s Veterinary School Hospital and for clinical research into animal disease and welfare.

The 21st Century Fund will support the areas of greatest need within the Veterinary School as determined by the Dean.

Mike Herrtage, concludes by saying; ‘Our school is the youngest veterinary school in the country, yet one of the most highly respected animal hospitals in the world, both in terms of animal healthcare and teaching. To compete with the best, ongoing investment is critical.

Our staff, students and patients are indebted to all those who have donated to the campaign. The £2m already raised through the trust has secured our immediate future and we are deeply grateful. No, by necessity, we have to look to the next wave of fundraising to secure our competitive advantage worldwide in the medium to long-term’.